Nature has a way of providing designs and detail that are so inspiring to the experienced and the beginner embroiderer. Fishbone stitch is one of those simple, but very effective stitches that capture the shape and delicate form of leaves, feathers and other parts of a picture you may need to use a filling stitch with some texture and character.
The beauty of the fishbone stitch is that it automatically creates a ridge down the center of the design that resembles the vein of a leaf or the center of a delicate feather without having to add that detail separately.
Before you Start
Prepare your design with an outline and a center line to mark the middle of your stitching. I drew a leaf shape and marked the center vein.
The fishbone stitch is created between these points and once you get going you will be amazed at how beautiful it looks.
How to do Fishbone Stitch Embroidery
Step one: Bring your needle and thread out at point (1) near the top tip of the design. Point (1) lies directly on your center line.
Put the needle through the point (2) to make a single small, straight stitch. Point (2) lies at the very tip of your design.
Step two: Bring the needle out at point (3) close to the first incision and along the outline.
Step 3: Take the needle to the left of the center line (4) and exit at (5) which is on the outer line. The stitch points on the outer line must be close together to stop visible spaces forming along the design.
From now you will be stitching to the left and right of the center line and never directly on it. This forms the ridged edge in the center.
Step 4: Cross the needle on the right side of the center line. Insert at (6) and exit at (7) which is on the outer line.
When you pull the needle through you will see how the center stitches cross over each other.
Step 5: Repeat all the way down the leaf.
Remember to have a long thread available because this design uses more thread than you expect.
Here is the completed leaf.
Variations to fishbone make it a very interesting stitch and the results as a filling in stitch will always create interesting looks.
It’s definitely a stitch you will get hooked on!!